CNN's Lemon Surprised By Boot-Camp Acquittal: 'Tape Just Sort of Screams at You'

Reacting to the not-guilty verdicts in the Florida boot camp case involving the death of a 14-year old African-American boy, CNN anchor Don Lemon found the result "surprising." And both he and CNN reporter Susan Candiotti made clear that they bought into the prosecution's portrayal of the videotape of the incident.

Just before the verdicts came down, there was this exchange [emphasis added].
DON LEMON: How much of a role did this tape play into [sic] this trial?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI: Oh huge. This is the main evidence, isn't it? And as one of the prosecutors said, "there might not be sound on this tape, but it is screaming at you, 'why didn't someone do something?'"

View video here.

Note that by stating "as one of the prosectors said," Candiotti was adopting the prosecutor's argument as her own. After the verdicts were announced, Lemon made clear that he too bought into the prosecutor's version.

LEMON: All of them acquitted. And all of them found "not guilty." Surprising, Susan . . . If you look at this, I mean it's, ah, the tape is quite disturbing, and as you said, you can't hear, there's no sound on the tape, but it just sort of screams at you.
Lemon went on to suggest that the jurors' race might explain the verdict.
LEMON: Earlier, when I asked you about the racial component, I think the only racial component in this was that the jury was all-white, mostly white in this case, and they [who?] were concerned that the jury may not have, you know, I guess, been compliant [sic] or what have you to a black teenager in all this and they would necessarily find these guards not guilty. And there was some controversy about that.

Oh, so that's "the only racial component". Just that white jurors wouldn't be "compliant" [sympathetic?] to a black teenager and as a result would "necessarily" acquit the guards. Glad Lemon cleared that up.

Studio Set Suggestion to CNN: Lose that girder visible behind Candiotti. You might be shooting for a found-art, techy look, but it makes it seem as if . . . cartoon bubbles are coming out of the mouth of the person sitting in Susan's seat.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.